Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had high praise for THE PLAYERS, the PGA TOUR and their charitable outreach when he visited the Ponte Vedra Beach tournament on Wednesday.
“I really want to give credit to the PGA TOUR,” DeSantis said at a press conference held at THE PLAYERS. “This has obviously been a jewel of an event for our state for a long time. It just seems like they do something to make it better every year.”
DeSantis recognized the high quality of the field, the best all year, and noted the “pristine” condition of TPC Sawgrass. He also praised the fan-friendly features, from playing the small 17th hole to the on-course food, the ability to see the action and the excitement of the finish.
“I think it's a no-brainer to come,” he said. “Down the stretch anything can happen on the final holes, and that's just not true with every tournament that's played on the PGA TOUR.”
DeSantis claimed to be a golfer, but not a good golfer.
“I've played the course a number of times,” he said, and admitted to frustrations on the golf course. “I will say, 17 I was always good on. It was just when you're a guy like me that hits a big draw, 18 is not the hole I want to be on because you've got all that water on the left.”
While DeSantis grew up playing baseball, he learned golf when he was in the military.
“I think that the good thing about golf is you can play, you can compete, have fun with it far beyond your competitive athletic years,” he said. “I mean, I can't just go out and play a game of baseball somewhere. That's just not the way it works. I can get a group of people and go and play golf, and I think that's one of the reasons why we have so many people in our state who do it up and down the coast.”
The governor noted that not only does Florida have many courses (the most of any state in the country), it also has excellent golf courses that residents and visitors can play.
“People can play this course,” he said about TPC Sawgrass. “They can play the Valley Course. We have other facilities around the state like Streamsong, Doral, all these places where you have all these different courses. And I know other parts of the country have good courses, but most of those are not open to the public.”
As far as Ponte Vedra Beach goes, he might as well have been president of the Chamber of Commerce.
“The PGA TOUR is a big part of this community here,” DeSantis continued. “Ponte Vedra Beach, one of the best communities in all of Florida, if you look at the school system, you look at the quality of life, and a big part of that is the PGA TOUR as a major anchor.”